Synthetic diamonds (also called cultivated or cultured diamonds) are a type of diamond that is produced artificially. Traditionally diamonds are mined from beneath the earth (where they form under certain conditions). Diamonds have a number of uses, but they are best known for their use in the jewelry industry. The best quality diamonds can be worth thousands of dollars and synthetic diamonds are considerably cheaper, which has led to their popularity. Interestingly, it is very difficult to tell the difference between a synthetic and a natural diamond. Let’s find out how synthetic diamonds are made.
How are synthetic diamonds made?
The first step in the process starts with a natural diamond which is cut into tiny slivers (about the width of a human hair) with a special laser. This laser leaves a black mark on the diamond sliver so it has to be polished. The diamond sliver is polished on a special wheel which uses tiny diamond pieces (called diamond grit) to polish the diamond. The polished sliver is then placed into a machine which is set to a specific pressure. Hydrogen and methane gas are added to the machine and these are super heated to create a plasma, which attaches to the diamond slivers and makes them grow. This process takes two weeks and the diamonds can grow up to 10 times their original size! These diamonds cut by a laser to reveal the crystal clear diamond. These are then checked for quality and polished into the traditional diamond shape. They are then sold to be made into all kinds of jewelry.
The following is a video showing this process:
Did you know?
Synthetic diamonds can also be made in other ways. One of these is with the use of explosives! However, the diamonds produced with this method are tiny and are mostly used for polishing.